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Non-Fiction Book Club! A is for American, Thursday, May 5, 2011 @ 6:30PM

Non-Fiction Booklovers! Thank you all for last month’s engaged and thoughtful discussion of River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard

It’s time to turn your attention to an American National Lexicographical Opus: A is for American: Letters and Other Characters in the Newly United States by Jill Lepore will be discussed on Thursday, May 5, 2011 @ 6:30PM in the Ground Floor Meeting Room. Lepore’s book looks to answer the question: What ties Americans to one another? Not race, religion, or ethnicity. At the nation’s founding, some commentators wondered whether adopting a common tongue might help bind the newly United States together. “A national language is a national tie,” Noah Webster argued in 1786, “and what country wants it more than America?” In A is for American, Jill Lepore tells the tales of seven unusual characters—lexicographer, Noah Webster;  Caribbean-born architect, William Thornton; Cherokee silversmith, Sequoyah; Hartford minister, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet; aging slave Abd al-Rahman; artist/inventor, Samuel Morse; and Alexander Graham Bell—and their efforts to use language to define national character and shape national boundaries. Taken together, these superbly told stories, ranging from the Revolution to Reconstruction, reveal the daunting challenges faced by a new nation in unifying its diverse people.

Of course, we understand if you can’t make May’s meeting. In preparation of that possibility or, if you want to read ahead, here is a list of future titles with corresponding dates:

June 2, 2011 @ 6:30PM – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

July 7, 2011 @ 6:30PM – Dark Tide: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puelo

August 4, 2011 @ 6:30PM – Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky
If you have any questions or suggestions for future titles please email them to Happy reading!